Chelsea have reportedly agreed a deal with Antonio Conte to bring him to Stamford Bridge this summer.
The 46-year-old former Juventus boss is right now in charge of Italy national team but is believed to step down when his contract ends after Euro 2016.
And with current interim manager Guus Hiddink also leaving The Blues at the end of this season, the struggling Premier League champions are ready for lining up a long-term replacement for recently sacked manager Jose Mourinho.
Italian news outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport are now claiming that Chelsea have managed to agree a deal in principle with Conte.
If Conte decides to make a move to the Premier League, it would be the former Juventus midfielder’s first job outside Italy.
Conte had previous been in charge of Serie A clubs like Atalanta, Siena and Juve before taking the Italy job.
With the national team devastated after the 2014 World Cup that saw them fail to get past the group stages, Conte replaced Cesare Prandelli with a two-year contract.
He subsequently guided Italy to a comfortable qualification for this summer’s Euro 2016 in a surprising unbeaten campaign.
Conte will have to face a tough group at the competition with Belgium, Republic of Ireland and Sweden standing large between Italy and the knockout stages.
Even if his summer ventures are proved to be a success, Conte has not renewed his contract which is due to end in August.
Meanwhile, the odds have been slashed on Conte.He remains in Roman Abramovich’s thoughts mainly as luring Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone seems impossible.
Not only the highly rated Italian boss; Diego Simeone, Jorge Sampaoli and Massimiliano Allegri are also under consideration to replace caretaker manager Hiddink.
However, some reports suggest the Dutch boss has become so popular that most of the Chelsea players are desperate to keep him as their manager.
The Stamford Bridge post still remains an attractive position for managers around the world and Conte is likely to consider it strongly.
Former Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli has also emerged as a strong contender to become the new Chelsea manager this summer. The 55-year-old tactician won the Copa America with Chile last year before being nominated alongwith Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola and Barcelona’s Luis Enrique for world coach of the year.
Sampaoli is reported to be very much interested to manage in England. The final decision is likely to taken by Abramovich, technical director Michael Emenalo and director Marina Granovskaia.
It has also been reported that the Russian billionaire has high value for the advice of former Chelsea manager Avram Grant.